All parts of the basil plant are edible, including the flowers, leaves and stems. Moreover, all parts of the plant remain edible even after the basil plant flowers. Once the basil flowers, the taste typically becomes more bitter.
Does flowering ruin basil?
Basil blossoms look good as garnish, but they ruin the flavor of leaves. Basil’s maximum oil content, and best taste, happens right before the plant flowers. Once basil blooms, older leaves begin to deteriorate.
What can I do with Thai basil?
Thai basil stands up to cooking a little better than sweet basil, making it a good choice for soups, stir-fries, and curries. It can also be eaten raw sprinkled over salads or cold noodles dishes, and used interchangeably with sweet basils in most recipes.
What to do if basil goes to seed?
Use a fine colander for basil seed collecting, as the black seeds are very tiny. Cut off the brown and spent flower heads and let them dry for a few days in a warm, dry location. Crush the heads over the colander and pick out the old petals and any chaff. Basil seed collecting is that simple.
How long does a basil plant live?
Basil may survive for two years before replanting in warm climates. An indoor basil plant with full sun and steady warm temperatures may last longer as well. Basil plants are sensitive to cold weather and frost. Before the weather turns, take steps to preserve your plant for the next year.
Should you cut flowers off Thai basil?
Check your basil plants frequently for flowers, and if you see any, pinch them off right away. If the flower stems are too woody to pinch (often the case with Thai basil), cut them off with shears. A plant allowed to flower will soon go to seed, stop growing, and die, so be vigilant about removing flowers.
How often should basil be watered?
Rotting roots are a common problem and these tend to happen because basil is being overwatered. During the warmer months, it’s recommended to water basil every three days to avoid the soil drying out too much. However, if your pot is in a slightly shadier spot, you may find watering every four days adequate.